Mai woke up and stretched her arms out. The clock read 5:30 am, a normal time to wake up for Mai. She took a quick shower, put her work outfit on and headed to the living room area. She saw Natsuki still sleeping and smiled. She grabbed a piece of paper and wrote a quick note for Natsuki to read when she woke up. Placing the note near Natsuki, Mai quietly walked down to her ramen shop.

I hope Natsuki gets a chance to talk to Shizuru...

Nao woke up exhausted but happy in the bed she shared with Hinata. She held Hinata's bare body close to her own.

"I take it this means we're a couple?" Hinata asked as Nao put her head on her chest.

"Of course, I wouldn't have done it with you if I didn't want to." Nao placed a small kiss near Hinata's neck.

"Yeah, me too." Hinata sighed.

Nao laid her head next to Hinata's and smiled. Hinata gave Nao a kiss which slowly started to become more and more passionate.

"As much as I wanna go for round whatever number we're on, I think we better not." Hinata pulled away.

"Yeah your right." Nao hugged.

Hinata hugged back and enjoyed the warmth between them.

"Hey Nao."

Nao pulled back a little to look at Hinata in the eyes. She looked nervous with a slight blush on her face.

"You know last night you took my virginity."

Nao blushed.

"So take care of what you do with it."

Nao smiled as she placed a small kiss on Hinata's forehead.

"So long as you take care of mine you took."

Hinata blushed but smiled. Nao put her lips back on Hinata's and dived into a passionate kiss. Nao broke away and began to kiss down her neck. Hinata moaned as Nao's hands traveled up and down her body.

"So-ah...w-what do we aaaaaa..." Hinata tried to talk.

"Shh...think only about me." Nao silenced her with a small kiss to the lips.

Hinata blushed at Nao's smile as her hands wrapped around the red head.

"I...I think I'm falling for you." Hinata whispered in Nao's ear.

"Me too." Nao blushed when she felt Hinata's tongue traced the outline of her ear.

Shizuru woke up and stared up at the ceiling. She noticed that the room was much brighter than the usual time she woke up. She looked at the alarm clock and saw that it was near 12:35 in the afternoon. She groaned as she tried to move off the bed.

I can't believe I overslept...Natsuki would have laughed

The thought put a small smile on her face. She slide off the bed and walked to the bathroom.

Natsuki...I wonder what your doing right now?

After taking a shower, getting dressed and eating something for breakfast, she put on her jacket and picked up the packet. She took a paper out and began to read her notes. Taking a deep breath, she walked out the apartment and down the hallway.

This time, this time for sure.

A new sense of determination could be found behind those crimson eyes.

Natsuki woke up and was confused about her surroundings.

What the hell am I doing at Mai's place?"

The memories came back to Natsuki and sorrow filled her heart again. Her stomach came to the rescue and gave her a sound that reminded her to feed it. She saw a note near her and picked it up.

Hey Natsuki,

I'll be downstairs in the shop working but if you get hungry for ramen come down anytime. Help yourself to anything in the kitchen, I hope things get better for you.


Natsuki slightly smiled at the note but her stomach gave her another reminder.

"Okay fine, I'll get something to eat."

Natsuki walked to the kitchen and fixed herself something quick to eat. Freshening herself up she put on her leather suit with her helmet under her arm and walked down to the shop. Mai turned to her as she had heard her coming down the stair.

"Good morning, did you sleep well?"

"Yeah thanks, I'm gonna go now." Natsuki began to put her helmet on.

"Where are you going?" Mai asked.

Natsuki froze for a moment before answering.

"I'm gonna go talk to Shizuru."

"Good luck." Mai smiled.

"Thanks." Natsuki put on her helmet and walked out of the shop.

Mai watched Natsuki walk away and prayed a silent prayer.

Please let them be happy again...

Natsuki rode her motorcycle to a destination even she didn't know.

Got to calm down...but at the same time I am wasting a lot of gas...damn it! So nervous...

She saw someone with long chestnut hair out of the corner of her eyes and almost stopped in the middle of the street. She found a place to park and looked back. The chestnut hair was gone but Natsuki still pursued to where she believed the chestnut hair went. She ran several blocks until her energy ran out.


Ms. Aono was drumming her fingers on her desk as she began to think about her meeting with Shizuru. She had looked into those crimson eyes of hers and saw many emotions sparking and flowing in them. She saw determination, yet she saw anger but the emotions she saw most were hope and fear.

Yet after that so called interview...

Ms. Aono noticed that some of that hope had disappeared. She sighed and began to think some more. She picked up her phone and dialed a number. Putting the phone to her ear, she had a pen in her hand and began to write.

"Mrs. Oda, I need you to help me look up information about Fujino Shizuru. Yes I know but she's a client of mine. Well tell them she's paying me as her lawyer. Thank you, please don't tell anyone about this."

Ms. Aono hanged up the phone as she finished making her notes. She stood up and walked out of her office.

Natsuki looked up and her jade eyes meet a pair of crimson eyes.

"Kisara? What are you doing here?"

"Actually I should be asking you that." Kisara smiled.

"Well...I thought I saw my girlfriend and chased after her but I lost sight of her."

"Sorry to hear that, want something to drink?"


"I'm on my way to work. Follow me."

Natsuki followed Kisara a few blocks down until she saw the familiar coffee shop. She took a seat and looked up at the menu.

"So what can I get you?" Kisara asked.

"Surprise me." Natsuki responded.

"Just like Nao." Kisara smiled.

"Don't compare her with me," Natsuki stated as Kisara began to make her beverage, "How many jobs do you have? Every time I turn around your always at another job."

"Well I have 3 jobs now. Here, at the bar and the Star Atlas."

"Wow, why so many jobs?"

"My parents died when I was 7 and I lived at an orphanage for awhile. I had someone adopt me but when they died they left me a huge debt to pay off."

"Oh...sorry to hear that."

"No worries, I'm almost done paying off the debt." Kisara smiled.

"So what are you going to do once you finish paying off that debt?"

"Well...I'm not sure. Never really thought of that. I still have time to think about it though. I still have a few months to pay off that debt."

Natsuki sighed as Kisara handed her a latte. Natsuki inspected the beverage before taking a sip.

"Not bad."


The door opened and two people walked in.


Natsuki turned around and saw Nao with a girl who looked almost like Kisara.

"Nao how many times have I told you not to take people captive," Natsuki looked at the new girl, "And don't call me Mutt."

"For your information, this is my girlfriend." Nao smiled.


Nao suddenly remembered Natsuki's breakup and felt guilty.


"It's okay. So who's the unlucky girl?" Natsuki asked.

"This is Hinata Minamoto." Nao blushed.

"Hi." Hinata smiled.

This is pure torture. I keep seeing girls with crimson eyes.

"Hey let me get you a drink." Nao offered Hinata a seat.

"Okay, so what's good?" Hinata asked Kisara.

As Kisara began to tell Hinata the many beverages, Natsuki couldn't help but noticed how happy Nao was. The red head was holding Hinata's hand and had a small smile on her face. As happy as Natsuki was for Nao, she couldn't help but see her and Shizuru together like that. She sighed as she tired to erase the memory from her mind.

Mai had several customers content with their bowl of ramen. She smiled as another customer came in that she recognized.

"Welcome back."

"Nice to be back." Kyoko took a seat and grinned at Mai.

"So how have you been?" Mai asked.

"Been good, just got back from visiting my parents." Kyoko grabbed a pair of chopsticks.

"That's nice, where are they from?"

"Tokyo." Kyoko separated the chopsticks.

"Wow, all the way to Tokyo. How did you get there and back so quickly?" Mai raised an eyebrow.

"I have my ways." Kyoko winked.

Mai shrugged her shoulders as she prepared a bowl of ramen for Kyoko. The crimson eyed woman took out some money and handed it to Mai once she had her bowl.

"Thanks," Kyoko smiled, "Hey by any chance do you know a woman named Fujino?"

Mai almost froze her when she heard that name. She tried to act natural as she looked back at Kyoko.

"I think so...Shizuru Fujino?"

"Yeah that's what her name was. Anyway I bumped into her, or rather she bumped into me." Kyoko slurped her noodles.


"I was coming back on train when she walked right up to me. She told me she was a local college student doing a survey. So she asked me a few questions, that was about it."

"What kind of questions did she ask you?"

"Um...questions about cousins, siblings, adoption and how old they were. Said it was for a major paper of hers."

"I know Shizuru...but why would she do a report on that?" Mai began to wonder.

"Beats me, pretty hot though. If I was on that side of the street I'd totally tap that." Kyoko responded.

"What happened after that?"

"She thanked me and took off. Kind of looked depressed."

"Do you know where she might have took off to?"

"Sorry I don't know."

Oh well, at least I can tell Natsuki something about Shizuru

Mai went back to work in her kitchen.

"Sorry to ask but where are your restrooms?" Hinata asked Kisara.

"No problem. Go that way and take a left." Kisara smiled as she pointed which way.

"Thanks." Hinata jumped down from her chair.

"Need any help?" Nao grinned.

"Don't worry I'll be back." Hinata blushed.

Nao leaned back in her chair and smiled.

"So someone's already whipped?" Natsuki asked.

"N-no!" Nao blushed.

"Please, I tried to get you to go to the motorcycle museum but you refused with punches and kicks. Hinata comes around and you practically go and take her anywhere she wants to go. That's called whipped." Natsuki grinned.

"Whatever." Nao blushed a deeper red.

"Well I really hope you and Hinata have a long time together." Kisara said.

Kisara covered her mouth and blushed. She looked at Natsuki who tried to smile.

"No worries."

Kisara slightly smiled. Natsuki jumped off her seat.

"I'm gonna go the the restroom."

"Don't do anything to my girlfriend." Nao warned.

"Don't worry I won't."

When Natsuki entered the restroom, she saw Hinata cleaning her hands. Hinata saw her and smiled.

"Nao seems really happy with you." Natsuki began to wash her hands.

"I hope so, I really like her." Hinata responded.

"You know, I've never seen Nao so happy before. It was really surprising to see her smile like that."


"Nao is kind of like a little sister to me. Don't tell her that though, she might think I've gone soft."

"Okay I won't." Hinata smiled.

"So if you break her heart, I promise you I will find you and break your spine."

Hinata's heart skipped a beat as she looked into Natsuki's cold eyes.

"Don't worry, I promise to take care of Nao."

Natsuki smiled as she dried her hands.

"Good luck; Nao is hard headed and somewhat childish in some aspects, but she's a good kid."

Hinata smiled as she exited the restroom with Natsuki. She noticed Nao smile and she felt her heartbeat race a little.

"The mutt here didn't do anything to you did she?" Nao asked.

"She didn't." Hinata sat near Nao.

"Don't call me mutt." Natsuki complained.

Hinata turned Nao's head to her and kissed her lips. Nao blushed when she broke away.

"You know your blush matches your hair." Kisara chuckled.

"Hinata let's go." Nao grabbed her hand and walked out the shop.

"Come back soon." Kisara waved.

Natsuki sighed contently as she watched the smiling couple walk away.

"Will you be okay?" Kisara asked.

"Yeah...I'll be fine." Natsuki's eyes told a different story.

Natsuki felt Kisara's hand cup her cheek and made her look at Kisara. Her eyes widen when she felt Kisara's soft warm lips touch her own.

"Sorry...but you looked like you needed it." Kisara blushed.

Natsuki blushed for a moment but smiled.

"Thanks for the wake up call." Natsuki began to walk away.

"Where are you going?"

"I'm gonna go find and talk to my girlfriend."

"What's her name?" Kisara asked.

"Shizuru...Shizuru Fujino." Natsuki put on her helmet and walked out the coffee shop.

Kisara rubbed her chin and raised an eyebrow.

Shizuru sat at a table and looked at the two remaining pictures that didn't have a large x through them. She sighed as she stared at the two pictures.

Only two more...I really hope one them-

Shizuru's cellphone began to ring, interrupting her thoughts. Shizuru took it out and her eyes widen when she saw who was calling her. Hesitantly she answered the call.


"Hey Shizuru..."

A silence came in the call.

"So...how have you been?" Shizuru asked.

"I've been okay...Shizuru can we meet somewhere? I really need to talk to you."

As much as she heart wanted to say yes, her mind and mask took over.

"Natsuki...look its over. I...I don't need you."

"Shizuru...please let's talk about this."

"There's nothing to talk about." Shizuru ended the conversation.

She put her phone back into her pocket and tried her best not to cry. Her cellphone started to ring again. She quickly answered the call.

"I told you I don't need you anymore!" She tried to lace venom in her words.

"Is that anyway to talk to me?" A cold voice answered.

Shizuru felt her heart skip a beat when she heard the familiar cold voice at the other end of the phone. She began to sweat and took a deep breath before answering.

"Kanin na...father..."

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